Salvar el Pacto de Estabilidad de sí mismo

En la reunión que celebraron en Scheveningen (Holanda), los ministros de Economía (Ecofin) de la UE abordaron una vez más la necesidad de reformar el Pacto de Crecimiento y Estabilidad (PCE). Las cuestiones relativas a la reforma siguen siendo polémicas e irresueltas, pero esa vez los ministros pusieron sus cartas sobre la mesa.

El problema fundamental del PCE es el de que debe lograr un equilibrio entre dos fines contradictorios: debe seguir siendo estricto con la excesiva acumulación de deuda, pero también debe brindar a los gobiernos más margen de maniobra para aplicar las reformas estructurales y restablecer la competitividad de Europa. En su tenor actual, el PCE es un obstáculo para dichas reformas. Los dirigentes europeos malgastan energía y capital políticos para alcanzar unas metas presupuestarias muy estrictas, mientras que no se hace nada para abordar los imperativos de verdad decisivos: envejecimiento de la población, cargas fiscales onerosas, descenso de la competitividad.

La razón es que las reformas estructurales suelen dar resultado a largo plazo, pero cuestan dinero a corto plazo. Originalmente, el PCE iba encaminado a proteger a los ciudadanos europeos contra los gobiernos miopes, pero ha acabado obligando a adoptar un comportamiento aún más miope.

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